The reason water is such a big deal in Southern California is the opposite of why it’s no big deal here in Ohio. There’s plenty of H2O here in the Buckeye State, plenty of rain, plenty of snow, plenty of water everywhere you go. But Los Angeles? Orange County? Riverside? San Diego? They sit in an arid zone and most all the water consumed there must be brought in from out of the area. It costs big bucks to keep Southern California properly supplied with water, and with upwards of 23 million inhabitants there (about twice the number of people in a region roughly the size of Ohio), can be difficult as well as costly.
The following article on the leftward-tilting NPR website considers that very possibility and raises some disturbing possibilities, wars over water included.
While I’m fairly certain that California will never go to war with Ohio in order to acquire water, even so, California will have a dire problem on its hands (even by California standards of dire problems) if, someday, the well runs dry.
“The lesson of history is that in the tumultuous adjustment that surely lies ahead, those societies that find the most innovative responses to the crisis are most likely to come out as winners, while the others will fall behind. Civilization will be shaped as well by water’s inextricable, deep interdependencies with energy, food, and climate change. More broadly, the freshwater crisis is an early proxy of the twenty-first century’s ultimate challenge of learning how to manage our crowded planet’s resources in both an economically viable and an environmentally sustainable manner. By grasping the lessons of water’s pivotal role on our destiny, we will be better prepared to cope with the crisis about to engulf us all. . . . (continue reading)
Related: “Three Reasons That Violence Could Erupt” over water.